How to Start a Conscious Lifestyle
Hey internet folks! After a recent Instagram survey (reminder to check our our instagram @the_choice_is_ours) we have decided to share about starting your own sustainability journeys. It can be hard at first, but we would like to share some insight before we get on with the blog post:
1- nobody is perfect- you're going to make mistakes, you're going to be greenwashed.
2- there is no perfect solution- climate change is a complex issue that requires a collaborative solution
3- everyone's sustainable lifestyle looks different- what works for one person will not work for another person.
4- change doesn't occur overnight
5- it can be hard to find people who care as much as you do, but love everyone anyway (they will come around eventually)
6- And finally, remember to try to lead by example, don't try to force people to change but show them ways that change is possible.
Where to begin:
To make this guide less overwhelming, I have broken the journey down into phases, so that wherever you're at in your sustainability journey, you can still receive our tips.
Phase 1: Press Pause
When possible, stop as much as you can. I said it. Try to press pause on your overconsumption. This can be small, such as not buying unnecessary clothing items, or big, like not traveling, not buying non-essential items, and pressing pause on everything. The point of this phase is to stop the bad stuff from coming in, so that the bad stuff can be removed from your life. And what do I mean by 'bad stuff?' What I mean is non-essential items and services that clutter your life, make you stressed, and negatively impact our environment. For example, fast fashion.
Phase 2: the audit/analysis phase.
Now that you've stopped the flow of 'bad stuff' coming into your life, it's time to analyze what you currently consume before you research alternatives. Here are some ideas:
1- conduct a trash audit. Yup, it's time to get messy. Or just keep track of everything you throw out.
2- check your bank to see if it is 'green'.
3- go to your closet: how much of the items come from fast fashion brands.
4- check your beauty products: are they clean? vegan? zero/low waste?
5- understand that you can't be perfect, but try to understand where there can be improvements.
Phase 3: The Research Phase
This is the fun part. However, before buying something new, remember that the most sustainable option is the one that has already been purchased or partially consumed. Don't throw things out for new sustainable alternatives.
I recommend that you switch the following items:
- fast fashion for second-hand or ethical fashion (also slow down your consumption)
- disposable cotton rounds for reusable cotton rounds
- beauty and self care products for zero waste, clean, or vegan products
- toxic cleaners for zero waste and safe cleaners (please don't DIY unless you know how)
- cars for carpooling or ride sharing or public transport if it is safe in your area
- plastic bags for reusable tote bags when grocery shopping
- regular grocery store for zero waste bulk bins
- Ziploc bags for silicone bags or glass jars
- disposable cutlery for bamboo cultery
- straws for glass or metal straws
- face masks for cloth face masks where possible (please stay safe)
Phase 4: the changes phase
Now you can go ahead and make some changes. If you would like more tips, there is an ebook coming out soon called all my eco- tips which is an extension of this blog post. Also, check out our Instagram for more eco- tips.
Phase 5: The Reflection Phase
Time to see if your implementation phase went well. I recommend doing another round of audits and collecting more data about what you consume too much of and end up throwing away. Remember, 'you can not do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good that you can do'- Shelbizleee.